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Wendell Pritchett

Wendell Pritchett, a professor at Penn Law School with a career of scholarship in urban policy and race relations, will be Penn’s next provost, Penn President Amy Gutmann announced Wednesday afternoon.

Pritchett is currently the Presidential Professor of Law and Education at Penn Law.

The current provost, Vincent Price, announced in December he would leave his post in the summer to become president of Duke University.

“I have every confidence that Wendell will be an exceptional partner and inspiring presence for me and the entire Penn community,” Gutmann wrote in the announcement.

Pritchett is also Penn’s first black provost.

An Ivy Leaguer from the start, Pritchett spent his undergraduate years at Brown University with a major in political science. He graduated in 1986, and received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1991. He came to Penn to get his Ph.D., which he earned in 1997.

In 2002, Pritchett became an assistant Penn Law professor before being promoted to a full professorship in 2006. He was the associate dean for academic affairs of Penn Law from 2006 to 2007. Two years later, he crossed the river to become chancellor of Rutgers-Camden, where he stayed until 2014. He returned to Penn to become interim dean of Penn Law for the 2014-2015 school year, and then stayed on in his current position.

Pritchett has been an active part of Philadelphia’s city government, working for former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter in 2008 and serving on a variety of councils and commissions over the subsequent few years, including the Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia and the School Reform Commission.

In her email, Gutmann described a “four and one-half month international search” to choose Pritchett. She wrote that the search committee had interviewed “approximately 60 candidates, potential candidates, and consultants.”

He will take office July 1 after the trustees ratify his appointment.

This is a developing story and was last updated on Wednesday, April 26 at 3:30 p.m. Check back for updates.